Posts

Showing posts from July, 2015

Second Stay for Burchfield Penney Art Center Residency

Image
Philip Koch, Chestnut Ridge Sunset:Cool pastel, 10 x 7 1/2", 2015



I'm just returned from another week at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (BPAC) in Buffalo, NY. This was my second stay as part of my being Artist-In-Residence there for this next year. It is a chance to do a lot of my own paintings all around Western New York State. This is the landscape where I was born and grew up- it's indelibly etched in my visual imagination. On a personal level it is deeply satisfying to me to paint here.
One of the places I'm painting is at Chestnut Ridge Park, south of Buffalo. It's a place that was an important source for Charles Burchfield's art. Above and below are two pastels I made about the vista there that looks north to Lake Erie.




Philip Koch, Chestnut Ridge Sunset: Warm pastel, 10 x 7 1/2", 2015

Both are based on the vine charcoal drawing below that I made on location with my portable easel.





Philip Koch, Chestnut Ridge Sunset vine charcoal, 14 x 10 1/2",…

Edward Hopper, French Impressionist?

Image
Here's Edward Hopper's Pennsylvania Coal Town from the Butler Institute of American Art. I love the contrast of the deeply saturated yellow ocher house against the bright whites of the figure's sleeve. And the shadowy off-whites of the window curtains draw you in with a sense of mystery.

When people write about Hopper they so often turn to themes of emotional isolation and loneliness. They rarely talk about his color and his amazing gift for evoking the feeling of bright sunlight. Yet that's exactly what drew me to Hopper's work when I was starting out as a painter.






Hopper in his 20's went to live in Paris three times. He saw the work of the French Impressionists first hand. He liked what he saw- particularly the brilliance of the way they rendered sunlight with dazzling color. Above is a Hopper oil of Paris from 1907. It is a symphony of creamy yellows, whites and grays. 
One can't understand Hopper without giving his Impressionist-inspired love of light and …

Burchfield Penney Residency Part III

Image
Charles Burchfield, Early Spring Sunlight, watercolor, 1950 Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY 
Later in July I'll be returning to the Burchfield Penney Art Center (BPAC) in Buffalo, NY for my second stay as part of my Burchfield Residency at the museum.  
I'm well into my fourth decade of painting and I have a different style to my landscapes than Burchfield. But one of my strengths as an artist I feel has always been my willingness to learn from other artists. His work has been speaking to me for many years. What I'm finding is what he's telling me is something other than what I'd  anticipated. 
One of the first things I did at BPAC was to make a careful oil copy of the left hand section of Burchfield's watercolor Early Spring Sunlight that the museum brought out from their Permanent Collection. 




I wanted to make the copy to get some new ideas from of Burchfield's color choices, hoping to add to my usual color mixtures. Doing the copy reminded me how …